The East Coast is expected to get significant snowfall as a result of a major storm. A major storm system hits the East Coast, bringing snow. Nearly 74 million people in the country’s central and eastern thirds were warned for winter weather Saturday nite. Severe weather is forecast for Saturday nite into Sunday morning before moving northeast Sunday into Monday.
The freezing rain and ice in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic may cause power disruptions by Sunday. “Ice, and plenty of it,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said Saturday morning. Forecasters expect up to a half-inch of ice in north Georgia and Virginia, and three-quarters of an inch or more in North and South Carolina.
In addition to high winds, “the weight of the ice on trees and electricity wires” would certainly create extensive power disruptions. States including Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia declared emergencies, allowing resources to be prepared. The National Weather Service in Atlanta predicts strong winds Sunday across northern and central Georgia.
As a result of strong gusts and the possibility of winter weather, the agency warned to “prepare immediately” on Twitter Saturday evening. Snow is anticipated in several southern cities by Sunday, causing travel issues in Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, and Charlotte. There might be up to a foot of snow from the southern Appalachians to the interior Northeast.
Heavy snowfall of 8–14 inches fell Friday nite into Saturday morning in parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Iowa. The cyclone then moved thru Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas, bringing rain and snow Saturday. Throughout the day, snow is forecast across the Mid-South and Tennessee Valley.
On Saturday nite, light snow fell in eastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa, and central Arkansas. Heavy snow has fallen throughout northern Arkansas with more to come, the National Weather Service in Little Rock tweeted. “As this dynamic storm system sweeps thru the state, more snow is predicted thru tonight.”
Tennessee might get up to 6 inches of snow Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will bring rain to most of the Southeast. By Saturday evening, rain will turn to freezing rain, sleet, and snow as temperatures plunge behind a strong cold front. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to activate 1,000 National Guard troops.
Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina advised folks to follow local weather forecasts and prepare. As a result, millions of people might lose power from northeast Georgia to southern Virginia on Saturday nite thru early Monday morning. The Weather Prediction Center says heavy icing in the Carolina Piedmont may cause hazardous traffic conditions, power outages, and tree damage.
Up to a half-inch of ice is expected in Charlotte, Greenville, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro by Sunday nite, along with 40 mph wind gusts that could knock down trees and power lines. There is an ice storm warning in force for parts of South Carolina until early Monday, with temperatures expected to be below zero until early next week.
“Ice accumulations will make travel hazardous or impossible. Travel is discouraged, “Greenville’s NWS office says.
The NWS is warning of severe ice accumulations east of I-85, from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Salisbury, North Carolina. This encompasses the Charlotte metro region. In the southern Appalachian Mountains, snowfall increases with elevation. For example, Asheville, North Carolina, will get 8–12 inches, but up to 20 inches at 4,000 feet.
On Sunday and Monday, the storm will head northeast toward the East Coast. Snow will fall in big cities, but rain will replace it. Washington may receive 2-4 inches, Philadelphia 1-2. New York and Boston should get one inch each. More snow is forecast elsewhere, up to a foot in some places.
NWS Baltimore predicted Saturday that “the Shenandoah Valley, back into the Alleghenies, will certainly prevail in terms of snowfall totals.” “7 to 10 inches is feasible, but thicker bands may exceed a foot.”
While the region’s snowfall may be heavy enough to avoid substantial icing, the NWS Baltimore advises that untreated surfaces may still be hazardous to travel on. Sunday afternoon to Monday morning will see the most snowfall. The most snow will fall in Charleston, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Burlington, Vermont.
The Northeast will be chilly and windy before the snow storm arrives. Nearly 20 million people are under wind chill warnings Saturday, as temperatures in the Northeast dip to 40-45 below zero. Cold wind chills may cause frostbite in as little as ten minutes, the NWS cautioned.
Strong easterly winds from the storm system may create catastrophic coastal flooding of up to 3 feet above ground in certain portions of the Northeast coast during high tide. Severe flooding is possible if winds shift from the east to the south before high tide.
“Widespread moderate to locally significant flooding of sensitive areas along the coast and shoreline is probable,” the NWS in New York stated Saturday.